Canadian MPs vote to ban LGBT ‘conversion therapy’

LGBT Canada
Canada's governing Liberals are moving ahead with plans for a national ban on conversion therapy

Canada’s House of Commons has voted unanimously to ban so-called LGBT conversion therapy.

The legislation would make it illegal to have a child undergo the practice or have anyone unwillingly undergo it.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s Liberals proposed the measure, though its passage prompted applause on both sides of the aisle.

The bill must now be approved by the upper chamber of parliament, the Senate.

Conversion therapy, which purports to change individuals’ sexuality or gender identity, has been widely discredited.

The House passed an earlier version of the bill in June, but it failed to clear the Senate before Mr Trudeau called an election in September.

In emotional scenes on the House floor on Wednesday, Liberal MPs crossed the aisle to shake hands with and even hug their Conservative counterparts, reports CBC News.

Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole allowed his caucus to have a free vote on the issue.

But unanimous support for the bill caught the other side by surprise, according to Liberal MP Seamus O’Regan.

Tourism Minister Randy Boissonnault, who is also a special adviser to Mr Trudeau on LGBT issues, said: “No one can consent to torture.

“It’s a great day for survivors, to know that no-one else is going to go through what they went through.”

Several Conservative MPs had expressed concern the wording of the bill could criminalise private conversations about sexuality or gender identity between children and teachers, religious leaders or mental health professionals.

But Federal Justice Minister David Lametti said those objections were unfounded.

Source: bbc.co.uk

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